My curiosity about percussion drawn from a lifetime of study has led to several interesting questions about how music “works.” I use these questions to inform the work pursued by my research team in the MAPLE Lab. Here are four examples of insights drawn from my musical experiences. For full details and additional information, please visit the official MAPLE Lab website at 

(i) Is it possibly to produce long and short notes on the marimba? New insight into a fascinating musical illusion

Hamilton Life with Mark Vituska: Interview/demonstration (2010) of the “musical illusion” which led to my insights regarding the importance of sound complexity.  What started as essentially a musical question subsequently led to important questions about the ways in which psychologists assess the auditory system.

TedX (2021): A talk presented for TEDxMcMaster on the current state of alarms for medical devices in healthcare and the complexity of sound.  My interest in sound complexity came out of understanding why my musical illusion broke with previously accepted thinking on audio-visual integration

CHCH News (2021): Discussing the state of current medical alarms, complex sounds,  and the MAPLE Lab’s research on how to make alarms safer for healthcare workers and patients.


(ii) The communication of emotion

The Nature of Things with David Suzuki (2016): Features lab work and performance demonstrations related to emotion research conducted in the MAPLE Lab.  Discusses findings from my team’s 2015 and 2017 papers in Frontiers.

The Quirks Question Roadshow (2015): Discussing music perception for major and minor keys, music emotion, and answering questions from the show’s listeners.   Builds on some of my team’s early work on emotional cues in percussion music (Schutz et al., 2008) which led to the perceptual work on emotional communication in Bach (Battcock &  Schutz, 2019; Battcock & Schutz, 2021) as well as ongoing work exploring Chopin.



(iii) Feeling the beat

94.7FM with Kathy Hyde (2017): Covers MAPLE Lab research on “feeling the beat” and “tapping to hear”; showing that moving to the beat helps us hear music better.  This interview request came after publication of my team’s first findings regarding how movement improves rhythm perception (Manning & Schutz, 2013).


(iv) Bridging music research and music performance

Bridge & Wolak Mentorship interview & performance (2021): Discussing music psychology research and performing on the marimba.  This broad ranging discussion touches on themes from my team’s work on audio-visual integration (Schutz, 2009), sensorimotor integration (Manning et al., 2017), and inter-performer communication (Siminoski et al., 2020).


NEXUS Drumming Lecture and Recital (2020): Discussing the use of phasing in percussion music, percussion music in various cultures, and research conducted to better understand Steve Reich’s “Drumming”. Performance also given by NEXUS Drumming and Michael Schutz. 


Sample publications aligning with these videos are available for download here.

Complete publications are available on my lab publications page.


 Schutz, M., Stefanucci, J., Baum, S., & Roth, A. (2017). Name that percussive tune: Associative memory and amplitude envelope. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 70 (7), 1323-1343.
pdf  Manning, F. C., & Schutz, M. (2016). Trained to keep a beat: Movement-related enhancements to timing perception in percussionists and non-percussionists. Psychological Research, 80 (4), 532-542.
webpage  Schutz, M. (2016). Lessons from the laboratory: The musical translation of scientific research on movement. Cambridge Companion to Percussion. Russell Hartenberger, Ed.
webpage  Schutz, M., & Manning, F. (2012). Looking beyond the score: The musical role of percussionists’ ancillary gestures. Music Theory Online, 18 (1), 1-14.
pdf  Schutz, M., Huron, D., Keeton, K., & Loewer, G. (2008). The Happy Xylophone: Acoustic affordances restrict an emotional palette. Empirical Musicology Review, 3 (3), 126–135.

For a more detailed list, visit:

Comments are closed.